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UFC on FOX 12 Betting News and Notes

UFC on FOX 12 Betting News and Notes

UFC on FOX 12 Preview
By Brian Edwards

The Ultimate Fighting Championship will bring a 12-fight card to SAP Center in San Jose this Saturday night. In the main-event tilt on FOX, welterweight contenders 'Ruthless' Robbie Lawler and Matt 'The Immortal' Brown will collide for the right to face Johny Hendricks for the 170-pound belt.

Most betting shops opened Lawler (23-10 MMA, 8-4 UFC) as a favorite in the -260 to -280 range. As of early Friday afternoon, Bovada had Lawler installed as the -370 'chalk,' while Brown was available for a +280 return (risk $100 to win $280). Gamblers can find a better payout for Brown (+310) at

The total for 'over/under' wagers is 2.5 rounds. Bettors have to lay a -145 price for the 'under,' while 'over' backers can garner a +115 payout.

In his second tour of duty in the UFC, the 32-year-old Lawler has reached his prime and done his best work inside the cage. He's won four of five fights, including brutal knockouts of Josh Koscheck and Jake Ellenberger. His only loss came to Johny Hendricks in an epic five-round slugfest at UFC 171 on March 15, when the judges gave the decision to 'Bigg Rigg' by a 48-47 score on all three cards.

Brown (21-11 MMA, 12-5 UFC) has won seven consecutive fights, including a thrilling comeback win over Erick Silva in his main-event debut at UFC Fight Night 40. Brown got floored by a hard body kick from Silva early in the first round, but he fought off a couple of submission attempts after giving up his back. Brown eventually got back to his feet and dominate the last two minutes of the opening stanza.

In the second and third rounds, it was Matt Brown 101. He punished Silva with a wild array of strikes, knees and kicks. Silva, whose chin had been a question mark in previous bouts, took the beating and kept coming. The Brazilian even halted Brown's momentum a couple of times by landing body kicks to the same spot that initially hurt Brown in Round 1.

But fighting in his home state in front of a crowd in Cincinnati that clearly had his back, Brown shook off those body blows and eventually finished Silva with a violent barrage of punches. He hooked up his betting supporters with a +210 return (paid $210 on $100 wagers).

During his seven-fight winning spree, Brown has cashed underdog tickets four times. His victories over Jordan Mein and Stephen Thompson scored his backers payouts of +300 and +190, respectively. Brown's last five wins have come via the KO route.

Prediction: This scrap has Fight of the Night (and potentially Fight of the Year) written all over it. Both guys are talented on the ground, but they are at their best standing. Lawler has looked incredible lately and he has clearly faced tougher competition. That's the knock on Brown -- that his last seven victims haven't been from the upper tier of the welterweight loop. Only two of those foes (Mike Pyle and Silva, No.'s 13 and 15, respectively) are currently ranked. If this is a pick 'em matchup or if Lawler is -160ish or cheaper, then 'Ruthless' would be the play. However, that's not the case. Gamblers can get Brown at +300 or better and, therefore, that's my suggestion for a small wager. With both men's propensity to finish, I'm tempted to look at the 'under,' but the -145 price tag is a little expensive for my taste.

In the co-main event, Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson will face Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in a crucial light-heavyweight showdown. As of Friday, most spots had Johnson installed as an enormous -500 'chalk.' 'Little Nog' is +400 on the comeback (risk $100 to win $400). The total is 1.5 rounds ('over' -150, 'under' +120).

Johnson (17-4 MMA, 8-4 UFC) made an explosive return to the Octagon at UFC 172, easily defeating Phil Davis by unanimous decision (30-27 three times). Rumble cashed tickets as a +180 underdog.

Johnson took a pink slip from the UFC early in 2012 after he missed weight by 12 pounds for a middleweight clash against Vitor Belfort, who nevertheless submitted Johnson at UFC 142. While toiling in the minor leagues, Johnson rolled to seven consecutive wins, including a victory over former UFC heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski.

Now that he's fighting at 205 pounds, Johnson appears to have put his weight-cutting issues in the past. And if his performance against Davis is an indicator, he looks like a serious contender in the light-heavyweight division.

Nogueira (21-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) hasn't fought in more than 17 months due to various injuries. However, the Brazilian legend looked sharp in his last outing at UFC 156, beating Rashad Evans by unanimous decision. Prior to that victory, 'Little Nog' destroyed UFC Hall of Famer and former 205-pound kingpin Tito Ortiz.

Prediction: How much does the 38-year-old Brazilian have left in the tank? Can he deal with Johnson's speed? Will cage rust be a factor, or could the lengthy layoff be a good thing for Nogueira? I think Johnson gets the victory, but he's entirely too expensive in this situation. You either take Nogueira or pass. I'll pass.

In the featherweight division, veteran Clay Guida (31-14 MMA, 11-8 UFC) will take on Dennis Bermudez. Most books are listing Bermudez as a -155 favorite, while 'The Carpenter' is +135 on the comeback. The 'over/under' is 2.5 rounds ('over' -280, 'under' +230).

Bermudez (13-3 MMA, 6-1 UFC) has won six fights in a row since getting submitted by Diego Brandao in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 14. 'The Menace' is coming off a TKO win over Jimy Hettes that earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.

Prediction: I'll have a small play on Guida as a short underdog in a fight he absolutely has to have if he hopes to make a push toward a title shot.

The main card will start with a lightweight matchup between Josh Thomson and Bobby Green. Thomson was originally slated to take on Michael Johnson in what would have been a very interesting battle. Now the 13th-ranked Green gets an excellent opportunity to pull an upset and slide into the top 10 of the 155-pound loop.

Thomson, ranked No. 3 in the division, is a -250 favorite at most shops. Green is a +210 underdog (risk $100 to win $210). The total is 2.5 rounds ('over' -190, 'under' +160).

Green hasn't tasted defeat in nearly three years, winning seven straight fights, including his first three in the UFC. He is the former King of the Cage lightweight champ.

Thomson (20-6-0-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is coming off a split-decision loss to Benson Henderson. During the first round of that setback, Thomson sustained a broken thumb. Before losing to Henderson, Thomson became the first fighter to KO Nate Diaz.

Prediction: I think Thomson wins, but I'm not going to risk the expensive price. I'll pass.

The first four fights on the card will be on UFC Fight Pass (subscription only), while the last eight bouts will be on FOX.

Octagon Extras

I like Daron Cruickhshank as a +205 underdog against Jorge Masvidal. Also, I'll be on Kyle Kingsbury as a +125 underdog vs. Patrick Cummins.

Alexander 'The Mauler' Gustafsson had to pull out of his UFC 178 showdown against Jon 'Bones' Jones after tearing his meniscus while training in Sweden. Therefore, Daniel 'DC' Cormier will take on the long-time 205-pound kingpin. BetOnline opened the champ as a -170 favorite a few days ago, with Cormier listed as the +145 underdog. On Friday, however, 5Dimes had Jones as a -230 'chalk,' with Cormier as a +170 'dog.

Nick Diaz signed a three-fight contract extension with the UFC on Thursday. All indications are that Diaz will probably return to the Octagon to face Anderson Silva on Super Bowl Weekend.

Joe Riggs is returning to the promotion to face Paulo Thiago at UFC Fight Night 51 in Brazil.

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Re: UFC on FOX 12 Betting News and Notes

UFC Odds and Picks
By: Hugh Citron

LAS VEGAS -- UFC Fight Night this Saturday brings us a huge bout in the welterweight division from San Jose between top-ranked "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler and "The Immortal" Matt Brown. Lawler about a -350 favorite around Las Vegas, with Brown getting odds of +290, 3-to-1 in some spots.

Preliminary bouts start at 6 p.m. ET on Fox, with coverage of the main event at 8 p.m. ET.

Lawler (23-10) has made one of the great runs in the history of MMA since he was just about forgotten in 2012 after suffering his third loss in four fights in Strikeforce. He returned to UFC in early 2013 with a first-round KO win over veteran Josh Koscheck.

After knocking out Bobby Voelker in his next fight that July, he pulled a major upset with a split-decision victory over heavily-favored and hot up-and-comer Rory MacDonald. The win was enough to get Lawler a shot at the vacant welterweight title against Johny Hendricks, who had just lost a narrow and controversial decision to then-champion Georges St.Pierre. Though Ruthless Robbie didn’t win the fight, he showed much better than most thought and lost a razor-close decision; in fact, had he won the last round, he would have won the title.

Jake Ellenberger, this past May, was next up for Lawler, who dominated the entire fight, finally stopping Ellenberger in the third round with a flying knee and punches.

With a win Saturday night, the Ruthless one will be primed for another shot at the title later this year.

Matt Brown (19-11), meanwhile, has always been close to breaking into the top of the always tough 170-pound division but has never been able to win that key fight to put him near a title shot. Saturday night might be Brown's best chance to make that jump, as he’s on a seven-fight win streak and full of confidence after his amazing come-from-behind win over Erick Silva – one of the best fights I've ever seen.

In that fight, Silva dropped the Immortal one with a body kick and had his back for what seemed like the whole first round, but Brown was able to defend well and get to the bell. Brown turned the fight in the second round with great striking and took control in the third round, finally finishing Silva with punches at 2:11 of the same round.

The Linemakers’ lean: I’ve been going back and forth about how I think this fight might play out, but it should certainly be an action-packed bout for as long as it lasts. I've picked against Lawler in his last few fights, waiting for him to regress a bit from his current form – his best in years – and he just keeps proving me wrong.

The edge in power goes to Lawler, so if the fight ends early, he’ll probably win. But Brown seems to have a little more stamina and might be able to get Robbie late in the fight. Lawler, though, did show great cardio in his title shot with Hendricks and got gassed late in the fifth round.

Robbie Lawler is the better fighter in present form, but I'm not willing to lay -350 against a fighter like Matt Brown, who himself is on a great roll right now. Let's go with Brown here getting almost 3-to-1 in what should be a thrilling fight.

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